Why do Animax UK still exist?

Discussion in 'Anime Industry Discussion' started by Lord Bacchus, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    I am genuinely curious. They've been around a number of years now, but they have the worst selection, the worst site, and the worst customer service of any anime streaming provider in the UK. The amount of anime they have is pitiful for a premium service, especially when you consider how many of their titles are also available on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Viewster. Their backcatalogue, which used to be one of the few reasons to mooch around their site, has dwindled to a point that even the free Viewster service has a better selection than them (with the bonus that Viewster's site and apps are much more user friendly, and are updated with fresh content more often). The one time I signed up for a free trial to watch the one or two anime they had which interested me, using their PS4 app was the most painful viewing experience I've ever had (it logged me out every single time I closed the app, and had a buggy on screen keyboard to reenter my details). So I guess what I'm saying is, what exactly is their goal? They aren't offering a decent service, or even making token attempts to obtain simulcasts anymore (not that I want them to, because God that would be awful), so what does everyone here think? Are they going to dwell forever in mediocrity, improve their service, or perhaps disappear altogether? I genuinely can't figure out what gap in the market they are trying to fill.
  2. crashmatt

    crashmatt Thousand Master

    Well Animax is owned by Sony so I would suspect its targeted at PS4 users these days. Why they still exsist is another question I can only assume it's still making some sort of profit. Lets face it they put in minimal effort in regards to the app and catalogue. In some ways it's good that there isnt just Crunchyroll & Funi but it ceased being a viable platform long ago.
  3. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    The thing is though, if they were targeting specifically PS4/PS3 owners, you would think they would make an app that was halfway usable. Considering that Crunchyroll is on both of those platforms, and Funimation are in the process of bringing their app over to the UK, I can't see who these theoretical people are that are able to put up with it long enough to use the free trial and start paying when services that are vastly superior are freely available. On one level, I can't understand it at all, but on another, you must be right about them making some money from it. That's the other baffling thing about them, that unlike the other streaming services that pop up and disappear from the UK market after a certain length of time (Wakanim, Anime on Demand), Animax never disappear despite not offering anything that looks remotely appetising to a potential paying customer. They're like this strange malevolent force lingering in the background, that everyone disregards until they inevitably outbid other services for a UK simulcast once in a blue moon, and force a certain number of people to once again brave their awful service. Except the key difference between Animax and the other two lesser presences on the UK streaming scene (Viewster and Daisuki), is that Animax continue to market themselves as a premium service (priced at the same level as Crunchyroll last I checked), despite offering nowhere near enough to justify a monthly fee, let alone an upfront fee for 6 months.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  4. Hanners

    Hanners Anime Limited Representative Industry Representative

    Animax UK's grand plan was to become the singular catch-all streaming service for the UK - they had a pretty solid business plan spread out over several years (which ran through from launch to mid-2016 if I recall), and Viz Media Europe handling content acquisition.

    I think it's fair to say that their plans never came close to working out due to a number of factors both within the UK and the wider industry that scuttled it, if not at launch then shortly after. There were certainly some fraught times at launch which set them off from the wrong foot in the first place. As someone who predicted that they were perfectly placed to follow through on their plans and become a big deal prior to launch, I often wonder what might have become of them had everything gone according to those plans - I suspect the Crunchyroll x Funimation relationship would have rendered them redundant regardless at this point, but maybe they could have built a strong enough service to survive that seismic shift in better circumstances?

    Either way, it's hard to imagine Animax UK doing anything other than shuttering in the next 12-18 months (as I would assume that all content acquisition contracts have been fulfilled so all parties involved can make a clean break), or at best continuing to limp along with the occasional rare injection of new content.
    Lord Bacchus likes this.
  5. crashmatt

    crashmatt Thousand Master

    It is strange that they still try and charge a premium price for far less content. My theory is that Sony want the PS4 to be and media hub for all forms of TV entertainment and Animax is part of that strategy. As long as Sony continue to fund it it will continue to exsist. It's difficult to see any serious anime viewer using it. At least one small benefit is that the occasionally throw some money at Anime Limited for a few of thier licenses. For most of us we just stick to Crunchyroll.
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  6. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    Yes come to think of it I have noticed Anime Limited stuff cropping up on there occasionally. Of course it is usually rendered moot because it goes up on Viewster as well, so it makes their premium service angle all the more baffling when the same content is being injected into a free service that is still arguably better than Animax.
  7. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    I have to agree with everything that's been said. I tried using the console app and it was so ridiculously painful that I hated every second of it; do actual human beings test this stuff? How can they screw up basic things like logging in so much? It was almost impossible to upgrade to premium in the first place simply because their on-screen password requirements weren't their actual password requirements and the on-screen keyboard which didn't match my console's button mappings was an exercise in frustration even before getting to the anime.

    And then they made a big song and dance about simulcasts, only to fail to actually simulcast anything successfully. Have they ever streamed a single show on schedule without randomly losing or duplicating episodes on either the free or paid channels, or disappearing without trace for a few weeks?

    Shows licensed by Animax UK are effectively unlicensed to me now. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt as long as I could but you couldn't pay me to use their trash-tier service again.

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  8. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    I suppose it is lucky that the vast majority of the shows on their service are also on one of the much better services too. The only things they have that no other services have are a couple of older anime like Samurai Champloo and Trigun, but frankly I've had hard copies of those for so long that this too is a moot point. I hate the Animax service enough that I would advise people who haven't seen those shows to just buy them blind and give MVM some love rather than faff about with the worst UK streaming site I've ever seen. Are there actually a few shows on there that are still available nowhere else though? I might have skimmed over them due to my own personal preferences. That really sucks if it's still the case.

    I'm so glad Funimation & Viewster are there now to fill in the gaps in the UK market not covered by Crunchyroll, because the only way Animax stood a hope in hell of carving out a share despite their atrocious service was to get things no other service had and hold them to ransom. Funimation coming to the UK may have cut off their lifeblood, and while I think that competition can be good, and that the Crunchyroll x Funimation situation could cause a duopoly, I still think a duopoly is far better than allowing these gaps in the market to be filled by chancers who can't even be bothered to offer a competent level of service.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  9. Demelza

    Demelza Adventuring Alchemist AUKN Staff

    There are definitely a few shows that are still exclusive to Animax, although they are few and far between since FunimationNow launched here - and even then it tends to be movies more than anything (the persona 3 movies spring to mind, of which only #2 is on Netflix while all four are on Animax).

    I gave Animax a fair go when it launched but the video player never behaved itself and ultimately was more trouble than it's worth for the series I wanted to watch. I'd rather buy the shows in questions later on BD/DVD than support a service which is actively making it difficult for me to stream a series week to week. Viewster and Funi have never offered a perfect service, especially when compared to CR who have limited problems, but at the very least we can always say they never fell to the lows of Animax.
  10. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    Oh yes, the Persona 3 movies, I forgot about those. I suppose since the trend has always been that anime streaming services in the UK that aren't Netflix never get movies, I overlooked movies as a factor (I know Funimation has a lot now, but historically speaking). Still, if I really wanna see them I think I will just wait for a Blu-ray like I have always done with movies. I'd be loathe to give Animax any business out of principle even if they had something I really want, because it would inevitably be them holding one thing I want and asking a subscription for it, rather than offering an overall service I would be happy to subscribe to.

    With Funimation here now, having a Crunchyroll sub and a Funimation sub pretty well covers all of the bases I think. It's nice that the state of streaming and home releases in the UK has come so far in a few short years
  11. NormanicGrav

    NormanicGrav The Eagle-Eyed Member Moderator

    Have no fear Grav is here.

    Kidnapped by OH DEAR:
    • Buddy Complex
    • Coppelion
    • Daimidaler: Prince vs. Penguin Empire
    • Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU
    • Gundam Reconguista in G
    • Hamatora: The Animation & Re:_Hamatora
    • The Mystic Archives of Dantalian
    • Nisekoi: False Love & Nisekoi: False Love 2
    • Perfect Blue
    • Persona 3 the Movie -#1 Spring of Birth-
    • Persona 3 the Movie -#3 Falling Down-
    • Persona 3 the Movie -#4 Winter of Rebirth-
    • Samurai Champloo
    • Selector Infected WIXOSS
    • Soul Eater NOT!
    • Trigun
    • World Conquest Zvezda Plot
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  12. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    Those poor defenceless animu, they never stood a chance. I don't understand why Netflix has one Persona 3 movie, but it's the second one. It would surely make more sense to only have the first one rather than have watchers jump right in the middle of something with no clue what's going on (if they haven't played Persona 3 that is).
  13. Jaysgba

    Jaysgba Thousand Master

    I just wish the home media release would materialise. The US had the second season 9 months ago.
  14. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    To be honest, the faster every unique show in their catalogue gets a home release, the sooner we can pretend Animax doesn't exist. That can only be a good thing.
    Jaysgba likes this.
  15. Shiroi Hane

    Shiroi Hane Dragon Knight

    Simulcasts aside, if they no longer have Maoyu, Date-a-Live and Problem Children there's no reason for me to ever renew my subscription for some re-watching. I feel sad for Dantalian though.
  16. Lord Bacchus

    Lord Bacchus Dandy Guy, in Space

    I don't actually think they even have any simulcasts anymore. I could be wrong, but I think they've completely given up on that front too.
  17. Shiroi Hane

    Shiroi Hane Dragon Knight

    They don't, so I was putting that aside as a reason to ever re-subscribe.